Thursday, January 24, 2013

Disney World 2010: Day 3

Operation “Early Kingdom”

This day was another early morning to make the Magic Kingdom “Extra Magic Hour” where only Disney hotel guests can be in the park an hour before opening, one of the near infinite reasons for always staying on Disney property.  Grandma donned her new “Grandma” ears that came with the thank you basket the girls sent her. (Very computer savvy, our girls.) 

After some initial Photo Pass gymnastics on Main Street, we targeted the nicely empty Fantasyland and rode the nearly lineless Peter Pan (YAY!).  Then the adults all acted as advance scouts on the Snow White ride to warn the girls when the witch was coming. As a reward for being brave with the witch, we caught the Philharmagic show to the delight and squeals of the little girls.

Actually, it was the delight and squeals of Rosa and Kim, but the kids liked it too.

We also grabbed a short line ride on Dumbo. Anabelle picked Grandma for a partner (as Rosa doesn’t do heights, I saw her sneak on the carrousel though). Aurora went with Dave, and I squeezed in an elephant with Kim and Veronica.  The cool part was seeing the work on the new Fantasyland expansion from up there.  Here’s a good rule of thumb, NEVER let a two year old drive your elephant, I was still kinda urpy when we got back to New Jersey.  We then figured we owed the girls a Small World as they were asking for it since we entered the park. Anabelle found she liked the hippo again to no one’s surprise but her own.

By this point it was 10AM and Toontown was open, therefore it was time to face the longest line of the vacation: Pixie Hollow.  While nowhere near the three to four hour waits that it had when it first opened, I think the posted forty five minutes was a rare underestimation on their part.  The wait wasn’t helped by the lightning fast princess line next to us, leaving skid marks and dust clouds around our impatient children.  We were finally able to shrink down in the pixie dust corridor so we could meet the fairies.  And it was actually worth it. 

Anabelle had her Rosetta dress on, and both other girls had Tinkerbelle costumes, causing Fawn to greet them as a garden fairy and two tinkers with much giggling and hugginess.  After fun with Fawn it was time for Tinkerbelle herself, which had our three little fairies completely awestruck for a while.  Yet again, the “villain” was most fun for us. Vidia looked positively, yet entertainingly, bored by the whole thing, and feigned disgust at the large amount of Tinker fairies.  Her forced smile was a crack up every time.  

We let the kids vent by going on the Barnstormer roller coaster after returning to normal size (see, we did learn from Grandma’s suggestions on the previous trip) before heading back to character land.  Rosa scouted the princess line while the rest of us took Goofy’s thrill ride. Poor Grandma realized as the coaster went up the hill,
“What am I doing? I didn’t need to go on this!”
But she survived and before we knew it we were in the princesses’ cushy cubicles.

It’s harder to tell what was more endearing. Seeing the kids gush in excitement over the princesses, or seeing Rosa and Kim turn into classic Stage Mothers,
“Now give her a hug”,
“Tell her your name is Aurora too”,
“Tell her she’s your favorite.”

Veronica hopped up on Belle’s divan like she was ready to move in. Since Rosa and I had our “I’m with the Beast” and “the Beast” shirts on, we posed with Belle too. Kim and Dave posed with Aurora for obvious reasons.
No they didn’t name her after the Northern Lights, haven’t you been paying attention? 

The kids then alternated between checking out Mickey and Minnie’s houses, and getting fancy ears from Grandma. Veronica picked Sorcerer Mickey, Aurora chose a Minnie bow, and Anabelle went with Tinkerbelle.  Not to be left out, Kim and Dave got Haunted Mansion and Pirate ears a day later, featuring metal bits which made security check for the flight home extra fun.

Following a brief stint in the Toontown playground, the time came for the main event of the day, lunch in Cinderella’s. Our arrival was heralded by a saxophone quartet.

No, it was not a coincidence.

And Kim changed her kids into their Ariel dresses when we got there.
Yes, we change the kids’ clothes depending on the character they’re going to meet, not if they’re going to get wet, that’s how we roll. 

Cinderella in the lobby was, well, Cinderella again, and then we went upstairs to meet our waiter/fast talker/Happy birthday to Rosa singer and cupcake presenter/Disney trivia expert/Wishing star and wand dispenser/Generally awesome guy: Sir David.

Example 1 of his awesomeness: Grandma was trying to take a picture of the menu cover and he said, “You should put that on the seat next to you.” 
Example 2 of his awesomeness: We weren’t sure if we had all the girls’ wishing stars so he ran and got us a couple more as we left.
We all tipped Sir David nicely.

We also met Snow White or Apple Girl as Veronica calls her, Aurora (another picture for Kim), Belle (Blue reading dress, another picture for us, and goofy grin from me) and Ariel (Anabelle’s favorite and who the other girls were dressed like: an ungodly amount of pictures).  I had reviewed all the menus on line before the trip and wasn’t sure which salmon I’d pick for lunch.  Luckily, it was completely changed the week before, so I had the tuna.  Good thing I did that research. 

I have read many reviews of the Castle saying it was pretty and all but the food was bland and it wasn’t worth the price.  My response to those reviewers is an unprintable gesture and the word “Idiot”.

With their bellies and hearts full, we decided now would be a good time to scare the snot out of the kids, and hit the Haunted Mansion.  Kim confirmed our previous review of the changes:

Escher stairs good
Bride bad

Aurora and Anabelle did well, with the exception of the poppy uppy potato head guys.  Anabelle really liked seeing the bearded ghost on her head.  Grandma was thrilled that the ghost that followed her home was the short chubby one, which actually put his head on her shoulder.

I had a successful WHERE WILL WE GO NEXT GUY moment afterwards, maneuvering the troops through Liberty Square before the parade came, and getting to Adventure Land for rides without waiting while everyone was distracted by the parade. 

I am embarrassed by how much I will always love the Jungle Cruise. It’s definitely my kind of humor. Rosa and Anabelle may have thought of Shakira when they heard “Wakka Wakka”, but for me, it was always all about Fozzie Bear. I don’t think there were even any new jokes, and I still laughed continuously.  Then it was time for my favorite, Pirates of the Caribbean, with my daughter for the first time.  This was a case where preplanning backfired. We’d listened to the CD many times, and Anabelle always asked me to tell her what was happening. Unfortunately the CD was of the Disneyland version, in its original state. Therefore, while she enjoyed the experience, especially pointing out “Grandma’s favorite leg” to Aurora, my sweet seven year old girl was sorely disappointed at not seeing more of the “cursed treasure”. We managed to assure her it was hidden in the backgrounds and she calmed down.

The next show was the New Managment Tiki Room. Anabelle psyched herself out about the Tiki goddess that scared her the last time, but luckily we ended up behind Uh-Oah when she appeared so it was an easier transition. The three girls’ reaction to the attraction was pretty typical. 
Anabelle made herself nervous before hand, but enjoyed it and sang along.
Aurora had fun, but found it too loud.
Veronica took it all in completely inexpressively, thoughtfully, and stoically like a small blonde Vulcan. 

Aladdin and Jasmine waved as they went on a coffee break as we came out. We finished Adventure Land with a trip up the Swiss Family Treehouse because…

Well, I never really knew why Kim liked it when we were kids, and still don’t, but Anabelle had loads of fun, and the timing for Frontierland worked out well, so it was actually worth it.

We moseyed into Frontierland and I was shocked to see Horace Horsecollar stride by, then a bunch of dancers came in along with several Country Bears and Bre’rs. They had a big hoedown in the street and ended up pulling Anabelle in to dance with them. (Kim’s girls were exhausted in the stroller, but Dave Hokey Pokeyed it around too.) After the party broke up, I was telling Anabelle,
“I haven’t seen Horace since I was two!” 
Mr. Horsecollar turned around and gave me a big wave, and I was two again. 

Anabelle was determined to try Splash Mountain which meant I had to go with her, Kim and Dave brought Aurora as well. 
Lucky us, we ended up in the front seat. 
I remember from the one time I went on it WAAAAY in the past that if you duck at the end of the terrifying drop, you stay dry. What I didn’t know was that in the front seat, you have to duck lower than I fit in the log anymore. Needless to say, we were all very wet. We didn’t change the girls for this body soaking attraction either, proving conclusively that we carried the kids’ bathing suits around the entire vacation for no reason.   

Aurora found the ride too wet and too loud.
I just thought it was too much in need of making my change my underwear.
Anabelle however proclaimed it the best ride ever, and even though it was starting to rain, meaning if we went again she couldn’t ride Big Thunder Mountain, she wanted another trip. I took her again, and Kim and Dave came with us. They got the front this time, but we still didn’t get any less soaked (or terrified in my case). We finished up cold and wet (and shaking, again in my case) but since Anabelle’s WOO-HOO could still be heard echoing around the park for the better part of a year, it was actually worth it. 

Once we dried off and changed the kids, we went for a more sedate brand of Woo-Hooing:
The O-riginal Country Bear Jamboree. 
There was much hootin’ hollerin’ stompin’ clappin’ singin’ and many other “in’ ”s by all of us. 

We ate dinner at Pecos Bills right where the bears let out (after the girls finished coloring pictures of the aforementioned Mr. Bill, of course.) Never ate there before, very cool little place, both for food and atmosphere.
Like I should be surprised, it’s Disney.

We were fed, we were tired, and it was raining, so of course, we went and stood in our spot, in our ponchos, in the rain for the Electric Light Parade again.
The kids were also asking about that as soon as we entered the park. 

A nice family (of which there are many at Disney) let the girls sit on their mat up in the front, netting them more waves, blown kisses and dwarf acknowledgements.  There was a delay to the start, but then the rain slowed, and not only was it as impressive as the first time, but we got to see Pete’s Dragon disappear, there was a whole extra patriotic float at the end, and triumphant return appearances by the road Zamboni.  Grandma even got to shop on Main Street while we watched it, so it was actually worth it.

We bussed home in the now torrential downpour watching the fireworks from the bus (which still didn’t look right), and I had my “Bad father of the year moment” upon arrival. I tried to cover Anabelle’s head with my poncho to keep her dry while getting off the bus, thinking I could guide her like when I told her to close her eyes in the men’s room.
The problem was: there are no big steps in the men’s room.
She was screaming and terrified and I had to carry her off the bus to prevent her falling.  There was a snail on the sidewalk, and since she likes drawings of the “snaily dude” in the Blues Clues books, I thought I’d show it to her to calm her down. I forgot that while the Blues Clues “snaily dudes” are smiling little characters, real “snaily dudes” are just disgusting slugs with hats on.

She let out a bloodcurdling scream.  Then she continued to let them out all the way as Rosa walked her back to the room, since there were snails and unhatted regular slugs every three feet on the sidewalks. 

Links to the whole Campaign History
Preludes and Plans
Day 1: Operation Magical Beginnings
Day 2: Operation Jungle Run
Day 3: Operation Early Kingdom
Day 4: Operation Showtime Doubletime
Day 5: Operation International Alchoholics
Day 6: Operation Magical Meetings
Day 7: Operation Excessive Travel
Day 8: Operation Giant Nostalgia


Dina Roberts said...

Wow. My family has a thing for the pirate leg too. In fact, my sister and other family members went to Disney World in January, and the one photo she sent to me was of the leg.

I'm wondering if the leg has widespread popularity. It's like how recently I learned the computer woman in Spaceship Earth, that I love, seems to have a lot of other fans.

I'm with Kim. I really like the Swiss Family treehouse.

Jeff McGinley said...

Its hard to tell. Disney is great at having things that feel like one of your personal moments, but that is shared by millions of other guests, but in slightly different ways.

My daughter sent that leg picture when she went on a band trip there. It's kind of like how I recorded the Spanish monorail warning and sent it to my sister, who used it as a ring tone for years. It's popular enough to have a t-shirt,but we all have our own memories why we link to it.

The location of the computer woman looks like where my parents worked when they met, so it has a significance for us, but in a different way.

Thanx again for sharing the adventures!